True to my word I attempted to make baby friendly fruit bars. I say attempted, but I actually did indeed make them. In hindsight (who doesn’t love the wisdom of hindsight?) I should have done a few things differently (like read the recipe properly), but they turned out pretty good anyway. I’ll write it all down for you, but I should give credit where credit is due for this brilliant thing, so thanks to Lou over at Fridge Scrapings for the recipe! This fine lady also has a lot of other excellent recipes for things to make for little people.
Also, before I get started, please forgive me for not taking the photography very serious for this. Cooking and taking pretty pictures of it just isn’t my thing.
Alright, first thing’s first, your ingredients read like this:
3/4 cup + 1 tbs rolled oats (not sure what’s with the +1, I just did an approximate 3/4+ cup)
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbs Apple puree
4-5 tbs dried fruit (chopped or pulsed in a food processor. I used apricots, apple and raisins, but you can use whatever your heart desires. Even coconut.)
milk to glaze (regular, soy, almond, whatever you want/need)
And here’s what you do:
First make your apple puree. You know the drill, peel, core and dice your apple, put it in a bit of boiling water until soft and then puree it. (Here’s where I made my first mistake. I didn’t puree my apple and measure it out, I just put the whole thing in with my oats. Don’t do that.)
While the apple is doing its thing, measure out your oats, pop them in a blender and whiz until it gets a meal texture. Add your apple puree and your cinnamon and pulse until it forms a wet ball. (This is better achieved in a food processor rather than with the stick mixer I used.) Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least an hour. This gives it time to soak up some moisture and become a friendlier work mate. (And don’t cover it with cling wrap like I did. Water droplets formed underneath it and probably didn’t help the ‘getting rid of moisture’ bit.)
Once everyone’s had a good time out, get your dough and squeeze it. If it seems dry, don’t worry. (Mine was quite the opposite, but I now know that this was due to having far too much apple in it, plus the whole cling wrap thing. So don’t do any of those things and you’ll be fine.) You want your dough to be not too wet and not too dry. I probably should have whizzed up some more oats for my sloppy dough, but since I couldn’t be arsed I just used some corn flake crumb which worked a charm. (I know, this did add a tiny bit of sugar, but I’ll do better next time.) Divide it all into 4 balls. Roll out between baking paper. (Just use the baking paper, ok? If this dough gets wet at all, you’re in for hell on a rolling pin. Don’t go there.) Flip it between the baking paper with every roll and maybe sprinkle some oats or flour to keep it from sticking. I used my corn flake crumb. Cut it into bar shapes.
Next, get your fruit and put some in the middle of your bar. I chopped mine, but next time I will pulse them in a food processor to get a sticker fruit mash to work with. Fold over and pinch your bar shut. If it cracks, don’t worry. Mine cracked a lot, but once you glaze them with milk that will take care of that.
After you’ve glazed your bars, whack them in the oven at 200 C for about 8-10 minutes, turning half way to make sure they bake evenly. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Keep in mind that these are made for babies so they won’t rock your flavour world. Sure they taste ok, but with no sugar, butter or any of the crap we’re used to as adults they’re pure flavour seems a bit bland. But my kid loves them and now I know exactly what he’s eating!